Fuelled by a demand for ever more sophisticated electronics and driven by Moore’s law of technological improvement, the pressure is always on PCB designers to get better.
It has also led to massive improvements in the software that designers and engineers use in development.
But as the necessary tools have got better, many of the smaller electronics companies who previously have been responsible for driving so much innovation in the sector, are at risk of being priced out. They find it more difficult to compete without the latest, greatest and most expensive software at their disposal.
CADSTAR helps level that playing field. CADSTAR is a sophisticated desktop PCB design package, capable of meeting a broad range of professional design requirements.
Some of the world’s largest technology companies have used CADSTAR to bring their designs to life.
And with different price points and versions of the software, including a free version and a highly functional but stripped back ‘lite’ version, it appeals to lots of different users. Particularly small and medium sized businesses.
The software has a whole host of powerful capabilities, but it is particularly well liked for its capabilities around transmission line simulation.
Gathering lots of information about how a board works before it is physically created significantly reduces the possibility of errors cropping up during prototyping and in other late stages of the board development cycle.
At a time when electronics are becoming more complicated, the software is easy to use and can help alleviate errors and inefficiencies in your designs.
Originally developed in the UK by PCB vendor Racal-Redac, the brand was acquired by Japanese technology company Zuken in the 1990s and has undergone many advancements since then.
The basic features of CADSTAR can be tested with the free version of CADSTAR Express. This limited version of the software lets you test out the functionality of the editor, but is limited to 300 pins and 50 components and grants users only limited access to the 250,000+ parts in CADSTAR’s online library.
The next step up from this free version is to use CADSTAR Lite. You have to pay for this version but it is very affordable compared with similar specification software and has a 2,000 pin limit.
CADSTAR Basic offers more functionality than its lighter brothers and includes a range of features to significantly reduce design cycle time and improve productivity and design manufacturability.
CADSTAR Professional is the top performing software used by some of the biggest PCB design companies.
The software makes it easier to make board design decisions. As the demands we make of technology increase, the complexity of the boards increases, tolerances become sharper and designers are under more pressure to ensure that boards are designed efficiently.
Board designers must make more decisions about the future of their products and they need information on order to make decisions.
Getting a decision wrong can result in getting stuck in development or having to go back and correct critical mistakes or inefficiencies at inopportune times. This is why signals generated in simulation are so important, this is the information that they really need.
CADSTAR allows board engineers to seamlessly define, visualise, implement and verify their designs. The suite has been optimized for the typical small and mid-sized design team, it also appeals to individual all-rounders and corporations operating across multiple sites.
And because the software is similar at different price points, it makes it easy to learn each one and scale up when necessary.
The latest version of CADSTAR is the most powerful yet with productivity enhancements including improved routing patterns for differential pairs and Etch Factor support.
Jeroen Leinders, CADSTAR’s Worldwide Sales Manager, said: “CADSTAR 17 challenges the view that PCB Desktop software has to be complicated. It builds upon the ease-of-use functionality with new powerful and accessible features. This philosophy helps maintain CADSTAR’s position as the industry’s most-used desktop PCB software.”